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Shall I Get A Mac Mini?


Al

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Hello again folks, its been a while.

 

Now, I'm getting a new machine soon. I have had 3 quotes for a PC from a local shop i have always planned to get my PC from.

 

However, a couple of people on another forum have advised me to just get a mac and have done. And the mini is the best i can afford (tho i would get the top spec to avoid getting the bug...).

 

Each PC quote includes a monitor and optical out from the mobo, plus a graphics card with dvi and a connection for my tv should i ever need to use it (and i think i will at least want ro experiment with the remote with media centre via the tv).

 

The Mac, without monitor (i would get a PC one or keep mine, tho someone wants to buy my PC) and before i consider a warranty would cost me all my budget, pretty much, but then so are the kind of PCs im looking at.

 

Maybe its overly romantic, but my idea of the mac is kind of like my speakers; you plug it in, plug the speakers in, and things work.

 

Thing is, it seems you must live near a mac tech to get them to coem out to you. otherwise, if i have a problem, i would need to send it to them or drive it to my nearest store, at least 40 miles away. This worries me, when id pay around £165 for that warranty and, despite some of their faults, Dell handled a hardware failure pretty well for me a little while ago with my current desktop.

 

Sorry its all a bit of a ramble. Anyway, you can tell im very tempted, so any opinions, comments, questions are most welcome.

 

 

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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posting this thread twice wasnt intentional.

 

Sorry all.

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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Can I answer Yes on this thread and No on the other one just to confuse you.

 

Theres so many places where the relative merits are discussed.

 

One big things is the question of what DAC and how you want to connect it.

 

Can I ask also - is there a particular reason you are wanting to get away from the Dell?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Do you mean the Sonos Vs Mac thread?

 

I've not heard of anyone mentioning the DAC as a concern on this subject before. Interesting. The dAC in my case is the 24/192 DAC in the AVI ADM9.1s. With the Mac Mini I'd just connect with the optical out.

 

I'm not leaving dell for any particular reason. In fact, They would still be fairly high on my list. However, not long after I got my dell, a good PC store opened a few minutes walk from my home, so I was hoping to go with them (just pschology about local stores i guess), until i started to take the Mac idea seriously (tho they may be able to source one for me, its just Apple would be responsible for support.

 

 

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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Yes the Sonos vs Mac thread and several throughout last 12 months...

 

The thing about the DAC is that a MacMini has it's optical output, or can have USB or FireWire attached but you can't add something like a Lynx AES16e card for high quality AES connection.

 

To me the Apple MacMini is the perfect machine (if I was to change from my current one). But others see the price, limited expansion capability and the Mac OS X system as being negative points. The MacMini is pretty much silent out of the box, and if using iTunes is a lot easier to get bit-perfect output (manually changing between 16/44.1 and 24/96) than with a Windows PC.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Does that mean i would have to set the output with different songs or would i just change it once and leave it changed?

 

Also, am i right in thinking the volume has some kind of influence over the bit output? (My terminology may be a bit off sometimes as i have tended to avoid the bit perfect thing up til now).

 

P.S. Sorry if i have missed other such threads and people are getting sick of them.

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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With the Mac (when using iTunes - if you use PureVinyl, Amarra, Play and maybe others it auto changes) you need to manually set the output to 24/96 or 16/44.1. This needs doing each time you change from playing one file type to the other to get the best quality output if you leave it set to 24/96 the computer will convert the 16/44.1 files which may lead to (a) no audible difference (b) a degredation of sound quality or © even possibly a slight improvement in quality. If you are listening to only CD rips, then you won't need to change the setting at all.

 

The volume control in iTunes is best left at the 100% level and the volume in your speakers used to control the output level.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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to change the setting at all"

 

Thats the important bit for me, as thats what I'll be playing.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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A Mac Mini is plug and play with a USB capable DAC (just like your speakers). No sound card needed. The power supply is separate which cuts down on noise. The Mini is compact and won't take up much space. You don't need a monitor to use a Mac Mini (headless) utilizing a iPod Touch or iPhone as a remote.

 

I agree that the extended warranty is interesting, perhaps it should last for one year. The Mini comes with a 90 day warranty that includes customer care but, if you decide to purchase the extended 3 year warranty for $149 your customer care also continues for the 3 year period, that addresses your mac tech issue.

 

The convenience of an iTouch to manipulate iTunes is what is the clincher for me. I simply sit in my listening chair with my iTouch in one hand and browse my music library.

 

Mac Mini>Bryston BDA-1>CJ ET2>Parasound A-21>Evolution Acoustic Micro Mini's

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My 9.1s dont have a USB so id have to connect with the optical port.

 

The Mini has a separate power supply? I didnt realise this. is it bulky and intrusive? I'll need a head as it will be my home computer aswell as my server, but i certainly wont be getting a £650GBP+ one from Apple.

 

To begin with i would probably just use itunes and the keyboard and mouse, then later, especially if i decide to use front Row on my TV, consider my remote options. Must admit tho that id likely end up with the apple remote as i dont really understand the vogue for buying something for a sort of "incidental" feature and not the main feature. I would not buy a phone because i wanted a good camera. I'm not sure why i would get an mp3 player or iphone to have a remote control. dont get me wrong - if people use the other features thats grand.

 

The warranty thing just bothers me a bit in that im no techy and dont know anyone who is (where Apples are concerned) in the real (as opposed to online) world. So, they have me over a barrel buying the warranty, but its pretty hard to get them to come out to you even if you have a hardware problem (unlike with, say, Dell, and i have experience there).

 

Sorry if this is very short and to the point but i really must get to bed.

 

Many thanks for the thoughts.

 

 

 

Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Sky+ HD Box. [br]Optical out from Asus P7H55-M into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers. [br]\"Music will provide the light you cannot resist\"[br]

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